So, the radio announced winter alert, blizzard blast moving in. Hunker down Monday through Tuesday. But when I slipped open my blinds, the morning air breathed whispery tufts above the marshmallow drifts here…there. Not much different than the milder, dry skies we’d enjoyed Sunday. But Hobby Lobby had been closed then.
Maybe, if I were quick, I just might outrun the storm (if it really was coming), round the corner to the craft store and back… snatch up the colored pencils I needed to draw one more item I’m readying for a three-month art display in… just…one and a half…weeks. I’d envisioned some color tint to this one, picking up on the yellow door, taupe walls of the home I was sketching. Every little delay counted. And I was so tired of weather holding hostage. Please, Lord.
Roads remarkably free of precipitation or slush, I dashed over, not really quieting my spinning plans for the day until my return…when…from my car window and gazing above roofs and treetops, I looked up into the dove grey and frosty cloud cover and felt a sense of wonderland fall over me, like the down of a snowy ermine coat.
The atmosphere seemed awash in a curiously surreal light like no other I recall, except maybe in a Currier and Ives painting. Clean, softly shadowed, snowball sky…
It’s so beautiful, I thought. The pillowy cloud, the silvery light, the white carpeted land all round me – much more beautiful than constant blue skies and sunshine. It was this sort of weather I’d pined for growing up in sweltering heat. Today, it gave me a feel of His face near mine, whispering beside me… Behold. For you…
My eyes blurred then – perhaps a bit from the frigid cold I’m so wearying of in this season’s overboard-heavy snow, but mostly at this moment of beauty so easily missed. All the seemingly miniscule gifts meant to tenderly wrap us in His Love.
For some reason, it made me recall a story I’d heard someone share earlier about how God had shown him that He is grieving over His people not knowing, understanding, or even really believing just how deep His love is for us. For you, me…individually and personally. This man himself loved God and believed He knew God loved him, but had been battling unexplained depression off and on for years.
“Why is that, God?” He asked then. “Why can’t we really know the depth of how much you treasure us? What’s holding us back?”
The thought fluttered like winsome wings, deep within. So many of My people have a shattered heart from hurtful words spoken over them as children. But they don’t know it, think they are fine, so they don’t ask for My healing. And not knowing, they are opening themselves to diseases and pain, holding them back from blessing won for them at the Cross…
The man shook his head. I don’t have a broken heart, he mused to himself. Do I? I mean, I’m an adult. I’m not hanging on to past kid stuff.
A memory wafted back out of the blue then. His parents had divorced when he was a baby, but he didn’t think he’d really been all that affected. At five years old, he simply knew his real dad as a good friend he did things with, just someone named Joe. Until one day his stepfather had come to him and broached the subject of adopting him as his own. Looking back, he believed that had come from his stepdad’s sincere heart…but suddenly he recognized his small self folding up in that moment. “Would that mean I would have a different last name” he’d asked. And when he’d realized it would, he’d refused. From that time on something changed inside his heart, he saw now. He’d retreated away from the family in many ways. Held himself outside their love year to year…inexplicably to that small child he was, he’d felt rejected and alone…never knowing why.
Seek Me and let me bind up your wounded heart so it will never break again… he heard within himself now. And as he did so in coming weeks, meditating on all the verses he could find about God as the Healer of the brokenhearted, he felt a very real and huge heaviness lift off his life. A fresh and new awareness of God’s Love deepening each day within him. In life-renewing ways he has hard time putting words to.
God began to reveal more and more to him how broken hearts leave us vulnerable to the Enemy — how God wants to bind up each of our hearts in this way, never to be shattered again — and to put a longing in him to minister in this way to others.
I’ve been pondering that in my own life since listening to his story. My childhood held some family tragedy that took time to get past, but now it seems like so long ago, in some ways like a chapter in a book of someone else. I don’t think I feel encumbered by those memories, painful and life-changing as they were at the time…because there was so much other love in my life too.
Still scenes of other things come back to me – things that maybe have ingrained the way I handle fears even now. School bullies spewing hurtful words over me like emptying trash on my head. Embarrassing field moments in p.e. class, taunts from other kids at my clumsy uncoordinated attempts at sports, even a teacher who ridiculed me day after day in front of the class… I don’t think I’ve held onto those, having other good memories of those same days, but what if those wounds did leave me broken in ways that still affect my life? Could that brokenness be leaving me open to struggles God means to protect me from?
Let me bind up your wounded heart… strengthen and make you whole in every way that enables you to walk deeper in My Love, in my Victory… restores your health greater than you imagine…
Restored wholeness. It is something I’ve been praying about in many ways. The warmth of His Spirit enveloped me as I said, Yes, Lord. I do want that. If my heart has been shattered, bind it up in Your Hands as only You can do. Help me to know and understand and believe just how much You love me… more than head knowledge…
It is an ongoing sitting still before Him… not a one time prayer… yet I do know a change in my opening up to Him. The stirring words of Ephesians 3:14 -20… Help me know the height and breadth of your Love… I think of Him grieving over me not knowing and that grieves me… makes me want to know the trueness of His Love even more… believe it with the core of who I am.
And what might that look like in terms of his light rising on us and shining to a dark world?
Just a brief few minutes after I came home from Hobby Lobby, sitting at my table with my drawing from a charming home photo I took last summer spread before me… I heard the swishing wind momentously, violently whipping up outside the windows beside me. The blizzard. Like those I’ve watched on Little House on the Prairie, it was all of a sudden blustering and spattering snow on my windows like globs of white paint. Swirling in a foggy misting that made the nearby homes seem lost in a chromium white dream.
Safe, hunkered down, bathed in the light of my overhead lamp… I smiled. I had pretty nearly scoffed at that storm prediction just a while ago. Sometimes His Love swirls in on a gale wind of white train held back…just long enough.
© Pam Depoyan
In what ways do you want Him to hold your heart in healing today?
He’s just waiting for your word.
Drawing: © mine, please do not copy these without permission. Thank you! See my pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS link.
Linking with Holley for her prompt, What brings you joy?
Imperfect Prose at Emily Wierenga’s place